Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Front Porch Rails and Steps

In order to make it easier to let Polly out to potty, we decided to hire our neighbor to build us railings and a gate for the front porch.  Now we can let her outside from the main level and she can go play and potty in the fenced in side yard.  She has her own space that Jon has named "Polly Yard".  

 She doesn't want to go out alone yet so we're working on that.  This is what I saw after I let her out by herself the other day. She didn't leave the porch and then sat by the door and waited for me to let her back in... or come out with her.
 I can't wait to paint the rails, posts, shutters, and siding this summer. I think it'll really add to the curb appeal. We have to wait for the pressure treated lumber to dry out first though.

 I think it turned out really nicely and it sure is nice to be able to take Polly outside without worry about her going close to the road.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Some Serious Gardening

The garden at our old house was 25'x25'.  Our garden at our new house is a little over 50'x100'.  Yikes. Big difference.  It was very exciting ordering seeds for vegetables and fruit I've never had room to grow before (corn, watermelon, pumpkins!).   This size garden sure will be a lot more work but I'm looking forward to the time outside and all of the produce we'll hopefully get from this space.
 Jon and his dad fenced in the garden and left a section free for us to be able to put in a gate at some point.

 One of our neighbors has a tractor and generously offered to plow and till the garden for us.  We have wonderful neighbors.
 The garden looked A LOT bigger once it was tilled.

 Polly is a huge fan of gardening and wants to be involved in every step. She was inspecting my asparagus trench here.

 Look at these potatoes! Adirondack Blue!  They are very vivid inside and are supposed to hold their color when you cook them. I'm sure it will freak Jon out but I can't wait to make purple mashed potatoes!
 I planted 8 varieties of potatoes this year.  I just couldn't decide which ones to pick so I picked them all.
 I'm using raised beds in the garden so most of my gardening time right now is spent shoveling aisles and smoothing out beds.  It takes me about an hour to shovel a 50' aisle and to smooth the top of the bed.  It's hard work but it will pay off.
 I taught Jon how to plant onions. He's a natural. I bought some onion plants and some sets.
 Do you think a 50' bed with 3 rows of onions will be enough?

 Jon is the garden warrior, apparently.

 I love making a garden plan.

 Look! After only a week in the ground, my asparagus crowns have sent up shoots! I was so excited to see this!
 Yesterday the kids and I visited our neighbor's horse barn and filled 9 old feed sacks with very well composted manure. I'll be mixing this into the top few inches of soil as I plant my seeds.  I'll be taking a trip back to the barn soon for more.

 5 beds down...many, many, many more to go.

Gardening sure makes a girl tired.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Polly - 4 Months Old

Polly turned 4 months old a few days ago. Time sure flies.  The early days of constant potty trips and constant "where is she and what is she doing" have eased dramatically. House training was the easiest possible with Polly and she hasn't had an accident since she was 10 weeks old.  I thank her daily for that!

In the picture above she's saying,"Ummm. Where's the pillow that is usually in this corner?"


She got to meet Grammy, Grandpa, and Aunt Sue last week. She was very excited to meet them.  She even snuggled with Grammy for a few minutes (after licking her face). 

The weather has warmed up quickly and 3 inches of dense fur gets hot.  I decided it was time for her first big girl hair cut.

I gave her several breaks during the hair cut.  This was our half way point.  She looked so funny.

All done!  This clip is my version of the "Miami" poodle clip.  Puppy hair is hard to get smooth and even because it's so soft and floppy but I did my best.  Polly even fell asleep during the last part of the clipping.

I think she looks so cute with her hair cut.  I know she feels a lot better because she is much more active outside since she's not so hot.  It's also much less to brush each day.

Polly graduated Puppy Class last week.  We love our trainer and we'll be joining her Intermediate class that starts at the end of April.  Polly and I love taking classes.  It's fun to practice our "homework" and get to show off our skills at class each week.

The fenced garden makes the perfect place to run.  She loves to run with the kids.

This week she noticed the horses two doors down. She sat like this and watched them for a long time. 

Goofy puppy

Serious "what are you asking me?" Puppy

What Was That Sound Puppy

Tired Puppy

Her 4 month/17 week stats:
Height: 18" at her shoulders
Weight: 24 pounds

Polly's favorite things:
-playing fetch with the Frisbee
-chewing on a sterilized bone that has been stuffed with frozen, softened dog food
-chewing on her bully sticks
-being allowed to go up and down the stairs when I say "Okay"
-Running! at full speed
-meeting new people and animals
-FOOD! Any type, shape, flavor, fruit, vegetable... you name it.
-watching baseball on TV (seriously)
-getting her teeth brushed (really, she loves it and comes running each morning when I call out "Polly, time to brush your teeth)
-going into stores

Polly's least favorite things:
-getting shots at the vet (not a brave girl)
-loud motorcycles that go by
-dogs that bark in the distance when we're out on a potty trip at night
-getting a bath
-the wheel barrow

Needless to say, she's well loved and we're all so glad to have her in the family!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jon's Yard Makeover

Jon and I were on spring break last week and Jon used the whole week to get a lot of work done in the yard.  Jon and his dad cut down a lot of small trees and saplings the weekend before.  There were also a lot of limbs down from this winter's ice storm.

He needed his own chain saw.  I admit that I was nervous about getting a tool that could kill him but I relaxed after his dad had taught him how to use it carefully.   I'm proud of him for having the courage to learn to use a tool that scares him a bit (and me A LOT). He learned to use it from a pro and has been very careful as he cuts up the millions of trees and limbs down around our yard.
He's named his saw "Bess".

Here is Bess and the huge amount of work ahead of her.

More work....

and more work....

and more work...

I'm so proud of Jon and how hard he's worked to make our yard look nice.  To quote one of our neighbors, "He's a good man". 
Here are some pictures of the new fence.  This is a picture of "Polly Yard", looking toward our neighbor's house. 

Here's the garden fence (the fencing to the right is loose because we'll put a big gate there.... once the budget recovers.

The backyard fence from the driveway.  They got it so straight and tightly stretched.

Our neighbor helped cut the damaged limbs from our Pin Oak. (luckily our neighbor was the one with the chain saw this time).  I was sad to see the lower limbs cut down but they were damaged and blocking the way to remove other damaged limbs. I hope it can recover from the ice storm damage.  This tree trimming left a lot more work for Jon and Bess. 

After Jon finished clearing this area near the bamboo, the kids used their collected rocks to build a rock border. 

Evan helped Jon stack wood and sticks and after each wagon full, Evan got a ride around the yard.

Remember how full of limbs this area was a few days before?

He's worked so hard.  I'm amazed at how quickly he got all of the limbs cut, sorted, stacked, burned (the tiny sticks and brush).

I can't wait to see how beautiful our woods and yard look this spring when the leaves come out.  I'll owe our beautiful yard to my hard working husband (and Bess, Grandpa, and neighbors). 

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